Aerial insectivorous bat responses to 30 years of forest insularization in a dam-created Amazonian archipelagic landscape

Di Ponzio, Raffaello, Colombo, Guthieri Teixeira, Bicudo, Thiago, Benchimol, Maíra, Pereira, Maria João Ramos, Peres, Carlos A. ORCID: and Bobrowiec, Paulo Estefano D. (2023) Aerial insectivorous bat responses to 30 years of forest insularization in a dam-created Amazonian archipelagic landscape. Biological Conservation, 285. ISSN 0006-3207

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Mega dams result in habitat loss and fragmentation in lowland tropical forests, compromising the diversity and ecosystem functioning in remnant habitat islands. We investigated the structure of aerial insectivorous bat assemblages within insular forest patches created by a vast ∼30-year-old hydropower reservoir and adjacent mainland continuous forests in Central Amazonia. Bats were surveyed using passive bat recorders across 34 sites. We assessed bat assemblage responses to landscape insularization and estimated the contribution of assemblage-wide components of β-diversity. Additionally, we assessed the effects of local vegetation, and both patch and landscape variables on bat species diversity. Continuous forest sites in the mainland retained higher species richness and bat activity compared to islands, leading to divergent species composition between forest sites. Larger islands (>100 ha) and continuous forests tended to share a similar assemblage composition manly drive by species richness differences with a minor contribution of species replacements. Moreover, local vegetation structure, island size, and landscape edge area exerted significant effects on species richness, bat activity, and species composition, with small degraded islands and landscapes dominated by forest edges exhibiting pervasive species loss. Our study highlights the detrimental impacts of forest fragmentation induced by large dams on aerial insectivorous bat assemblages. If new dam projects are inevitable, we recommend the creation of extensive protected areas in land-bridge island systems and their adjacent continuous forests. Those protected sites can minimize the negative impacts of small islands, safeguarding forest quality for forest-dependent bats, which ensures the continuity of their ecosystem services.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This study was funded by The Rufford Small Grant Foundation (#19493-1), National Geographic Society (Young Explorer Grant #9997-16), Idea Wild, WCS Research Fellowship Program, The Conservation Food and Health Foundation, ARPA, Amazonas Distribuidora de Energia S/A, Associação Comunidade Waimiri Atroari, and National Geographic Society Explorer Grant 93497C awarded to CAP. This study was authorized and registered under licences from Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade - ICMBio (SISBIO #53340/1).We are grateful to ICMBio REBIO Uatumã/ICMBio and Gilmar Klein for logistical support during fieldwork. The BDFFP supported logistics during all sound and data analysis and manuscript writing. RDP and GTC were supported by a Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) scholarship. MJRP was supported by CNPq productivity grants (311297/2018-8 and 309833/2021-3). PEDB was supported by a postdoctoral scholarship from Programa Nacional de Pós-Doutorado/Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (88887.370067/2019-00). We thank Dedeu for assistance during fieldwork and Giulliana Appel for help in bat species identification. We acknowledge two anonymous reviewers for their invaluable contributions to this paper.
Uncontrolled Keywords: central amazon,chiroptera,habitat fragmentation,hydropower projects,land-bridge systems,landscape ecology,ecology, evolution, behavior and systematics,nature and landscape conservation,sdg 15 - life on land ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1105
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2023 03:29
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2024 01:44
DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2023.110222

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